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Rude Mechanicals auditions tend to be very casual, informal affairs. Headshots are welcome but not necessary; a prepared monologue is a nice touch but there will also be scripts or scenes on-site for cold readings.

Wear loose-fitting, comfortable clothes you can move around in.

Arriving early is no guarantee you won’t be asked to stay late. Bring a book.

Shakespearean dialects are tricky, and the trickiest thing about them is frequently conveying authenticity. When it comes to playing intention, a bold wrong choice is infinitely preferable to a half-hearted right choice. Don’t try to decipher what all the words mean at once — decide upon your overall objective in the scene, (getting the girl to go away with me; getting the guy to give me more money) and play your heart out with it.

You may be assigned a speech with a partner or you may be given a monologue. If at the end of the evening you feel as though your true talents haven’t been showcased (comedy instead of drama; singing instead of seduction), ask for the chance to demonstrate what you feel is your strongest range/skill/ability.

“Slower, Clearer, and Louder” are the three notes that apply to almost everyone at one time or another, and almost certainly in an audition setting. Speak up, enunciate, and slow down.

Classical monologues show off how good you are at overcoming the shortcomings of conveying simple emotions with complex language, and modern monologues show off how good you are at overcoming the shortcomings of conveying complex emotions with simple language. The Rude Mechanicals tends to prefer classical monologues to get a sense of what you can do with the words, but modern monologues can (and do) demonstrate a wealth of data about an actor’s range and ability. If you have a prepared piece that’s post-Elizabethan, bring it out.

Relax. The operative word here is play. Have fun with it.

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